Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reverse haiku

As my weekly 'haiku a day' posts suggest, I've become rather a fan of these little poems. I recently found a wonderful internet rabbit hole which ended with the discovery of a Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō (who you can learn more about here - ah wikipedia, source of all lazy knowledge!). More specifically, I found this website, The Haiku Poems of Matsuo Bashō, where many of his poems are listed. As I scrolled down, reading them all, I was struck by the amazing imagery in them, and their ability to create vivid images in my mind's eye. I started to wonder about the image or moment which inspired the poem. It's strange really that seventeen syllables can be so evocative (although the element of translation involved in the poems I was reading means that some of them have slightly more syllables but nevertheless, they are so concise, and almost made slightly more dreamlike by the awkward translation in which something inevitably slips away or gets added).

Anyway, some of the poems really stuck with my and I was inspired to recreate one of them - not in real life, as that would be rather tricky and would involve a lot of props - but rather, via the wonderful messy process of collage in which anything is possible. I love cutting up pictures in old magazines and newspapers anyway, and decorating my notebooks with them (a good way of jazzing up a boring notebook when you don't feel like spending a fortune on a snazzy one). This one now lives at the back of my notebook where I draft out all my haikus, so its very inspiring. I'd love to see a scene like this in real life....

Along the roadside,
Blossoming wild roses,
In my horse's mouth.

A delightful lunch indeed for this horse :)
Maybe I'll collage up some more of Matsuo Bashō's lovely poems one day soon...

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